Effective May 27, 2020 at midnight Japan time, the Japanese government will ban the entry of foreigners who have visited India, Argentina, South Africa or eight other countries for the past 14 days prior to arriving in Japan.  On May 22, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had placed a Level 3 travel warning level on these 11 countries, urging (but not forbidding) Japanese citizens not to travel to these countries.  There are now a total of 111 countries subject to the entry bans into Japan.  Continue reading at Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 Blog.

COVID-19 has left employee workforces separated from their country of assignment.  To continue operations, employers transitioned employees to work-from-home or other virtual work arrangements.  Globally, tax authorities are considering how to address unintended corporate and individual tax consequences of displaced individuals physically present within a particular jurisdiction and those who are also performing business activities within such jurisdiction due to travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders.  We discuss employer considerations and US tax guidance at Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 blog.

The Japanese government announced that it is extending the entry restrictions into Japan, which we discussed in detail in our prior blog post, through the end of May. This extension applies to entry restrictions placed on all countries globally, including the entry ban on foreigners who have visited the United States, Canada, China or 70 other countries for the past 14 days prior to arriving in Japan. Continue reading at Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 blog.

President Trump signed an executive order, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause for 60 days the issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States.  The order, which takes effect at 11:59 pm Eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020, is limited in its current scope, as it only affects individuals who are outside the United States and do not have a valid visa.

As reported in our post yesterday, the order does not:

  • Impact temporary workers, such as H-1B specialty occupation workers, L-1 intra-company executives and specialized knowledge transferees from overseas, treaty visa holders including NAFTA entrants, O-1 extraordinary ability aliens, and F-1 students, who are currently in or outside the United States;
  • Affect the ability of business visitors and tourists to enter the United States with the appropriate travel authorization, subject to prior travel restrictions still in effect; and
  • Preclude those who are in the United States from adjusting to lawful permanent resident status.

The order also instructs the Secretaries of Labor, Homeland Security, and State to review “nonimmigrant programs” and make recommendations in the next 30 days to “stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”

Continue reading on Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 Response Blog.

President Donald Trump’s tweet late Monday night, April 20, 2020, that he would suspend immigration temporarily “[i]n light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens,” led to widespread speculation across the business community that the president was instituting a blanket ban on immigration.  As confirmed on Tuesday, April 21, by the president at a coronavirus press briefing, the executive order will be a far more limited measure with a much less dramatic impact.  Continue reading at Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 blog.

In a tweet late Monday, April 20, 2020, President Trump said he will issue an executive order temporarily suspending immigration  “in light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy” and the “need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.”  The White House did not provide any immediate clarification, including when an executive order would be signed.  Continue reading at Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 blog.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidance posted on April 13, 2020, provides nonimmigrant visa holders and Visa Waiver visitors who find themselves unable to timely depart the United States, with options to remain in the United States lawfully.  Our post on the COVID-19 Response Blog, “Multiple Courses to Seek Additional Time to Remain in the United States During COVID-19 Travel Restrictions,” supplements Mayer Brown’s March 30 Legal Update “Guidance for Visa Holders and Visitors to Seek Additional Time in the United States Because of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions.”  Our C-19 Navigator provides a summary of worldwide travel restrictions, and our COVID-19 Portal includes descriptions of lockdowns and travel bans by governments across a variety of global jurisdictions.

Effective April 8, 2020 at midnight Japan time, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency specifically designated for Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, Fukuoka, as well as the three prefectures surrounding Tokyo (Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba) initially until May 6. The declaration was made under a special measures law, which will provide each prefectural governor the legal authority to request or demand restrictions on the use of various establishments in their respective prefectures,* such as schools, nurseries, movie theaters, exhibition halls, hotels, museums, art galleries and retail stores. Certain establishments are expected to be exempt, such as supermarkets (food and hygienic products only), drugstores, gasoline stands. Railroads, roads and essential utilities are also expected to continue operations (although the operators of specific train lines and essential utilities may adjust their operations as they deem appropriate).  Continue reading at Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 blog.

The Canadian government has now published guidance for travelers on the scope of the US-Canada border closure. Last month, the United States and Canada announced that the two countries would jointly and temporarily close the border, until April 20, 2020, to non-essential travel in an effort to limit the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The statement from the Prime Minister defined “non-essential” travel to include “travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature,” as described in our post from March 24, 2020. Continue reading at Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 blog.

The United Kingdom, like the United States, has formally announced an alternative, temporary method by which employers may conduct right to work (RTW) checks during the coronavirus pandemic, when employers have instituted telecommuting and work-from-home arrangements and thus are onboarding newly hired employees remotely.  Because it remains an offence in the United Kingdom to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK, these temporary measures provide a practical means for an employer to conduct these checks and verify a worker’s right to work when employees are telecommuting during the COVID-19 period. Continue Reading The United Kingdom, Like the United States, Formally Sanctions Video Checks of Right to Work, As COVID-19 Work From Home Arrangements Continue